Do your kids have cavities ? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it true that when kids are on a TF diet, they are more likely to have good teeth ? I am just curious.
Also, when did you start brushing your kids teeth ? I'm kind of embarassed to ask but my son has 7 teeth and I haven't started yet. Should I ?
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#2 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 01:25 AM
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I can't tell you (and probably nobody can with any authority) whether kids on a TF diet are more likely to have good teeth in general. I can tell you that both of my kids had/have very weak enamel on their baby teeth (I did, too). My first was born pre-TF (but I ate organic whole foods, leaning towards veg.), his horrible baby tooth problem was part of what led me to more dietary investigation and ultimately TF. My second was born after I'd been eating TF for about 4 years, he's 3 1/2 now and has always eaten TF with very little "cheating", and his teeth are also horrible - weak enamel that wears away quickly, lots of decay. (Our dental hygiene is very good.) I still believe in the TF ideals, but I get very cranky with the implications that if you just follow all these TF-type recommendations your kids will have perfect teeth, and that any problems that arise are because it wasn't done "right". I don't say this to discourage you, but to say that IMO food is not the answer to every problem, and has not been the answer to baby tooth problems in my family.

There is no secret ingredient.
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#3 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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When I was a kid I had horrible teeth, but now since eating TF, I have great teeth and my 2 yr old has no cavities. I breastfed her even at night without brushing, and I still don't brush my daughters teeth. If I do brush her teeth, it is because she wants to be like mama and brush too. This is probably like once every 2 weeks that she asks for her brush. But I feed her yogurt afterwards or a fermented veggie.
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#4 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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definately since starting clo and high quality fatty foods my dd's teeth have improved and i do think it works if done correctly.
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#5 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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I think that tooth quality is almost all genetics. Some people are born with solid, strong teeth (like me!) and others (like my brothers) have bad teeth with loads of problems. We never went to a dentist, brushed once per day and by the time my brothers came around my parents were into very healthy eating/whole foods/gardening...and my brothers were both breastfed whereas I was formula fed. They had much better early nutrition. I have also always had a sweet tooth and also was bulimic for many years- that can do some damage to teeth. Anyway, my teeth are in very good shape.

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#6 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
i do think it works if done correctly.
It can work. That doesn't mean it will work in every case, even if done "correctly". I think the cause of tooth problems of various sorts can be too multi-faceted to make blanket statements about what works to fix or prevent it.

There is no secret ingredient.
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#7 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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I think it is probably pretty complicated and may be hard to hit on exactly WHY it is this way for YOU in particular. Could be diet, could be genetics. Likely it is a bit of both. And here is my shameless plug for the Paleo diet (no grains, little/no dairy, no sugar, intermittent fasting, strength training). I went this way and I'm so happy I did, I was eating really TF for a couple of years but it just wasn't working out that well for me. I felt tired all the time and gained 20 lbs. Since getting rid of the grains I've seen a HUGE improvement health-wise. And since eating this way is incredibly nutrient dense I know I have all my bases covered. And I get to eat A LOT of BUTTER!!!! :
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#8 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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We are not 100% TF (esp. as we're vegetarian) but we do eat organic, pastured eggs and butter, that good stuff. DS and DD1 have perfect teeth, DD2 has weak enamel on her first four top teeth.

They've remineralized now but I ascribe it more to the xylitol and MI paste than to dietary interventions although I definitely upped her intake of pastured ghee, eggs, etc. There's so much to the picture, I don't think you can isolate any one factor. In DD2's case, the fact that her top four teeth have this problem but none of the other 12 she has so far to me indicates that something happened while they were forming -- perhaps a fever while she was in utero, perhaps the IV abx she got in the NICU (no choice there on my part).

There's so much individual variation in saliva acidity etc. that affects the constant demineralization/remineralization process....

That said, I think dietary choices can definitely play a role either in the eating of/abstaining from certain foods or the timing of eating them. For ex. eating carbs of any kind before bed without brushing and then nursing all night = big no no as fermentable carbs plus breastmilk = very bad for teeth. Even without the nighttime nursing issue, fermentable carbs on the teeth can lead to decay-causing bacteria reproducing right quick. But eating eggs and cheese = totally fine not to brush afterwards as they are anti-cavity-forming foods. So a diet high in fermentable carbs, in a child who's vulnerable for whatever genetic/developmental reasons, can lead to more problems than a diet high in non-cariogenic foods.

I agree, there's no magic bullet and it is way too simple to claim that a certain diet guarantees good teeth.

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#9 of 13 Old 05-28-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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My 5 1/2 yo dd doesn't have any carries. That is amazing when you consider that she vomited multiple times per day for over 4 years. Her stomach motility was so slow (gastroparesis and gastirits) that she would vomit up solid food that she had ingested 10 hours earlier and it would be totally undigested. Her stools were pale yellow until she was in her 4th year of life and lots of undigested food came out in her stools.

She was bf through 13 mo, but I ate SAD with mostly organics. I started her on butter oil, HVCLO, daily bone broth, and traditional foods when she was 18 mo old. I believe that this helped so much, but healing didn't come her way (gi stuff) until we started pulling mercury from her system. I had tons of cavities as a kid, so you can't say she "inherited" good teeth from me.

I love traditional foods, but I think it is a disservice to all of us who live in this modern world to say that they alone are the ANSWER or that your children will have physical perfection if you are faithful to eating them and abstaining from processed foods. There are too many other parts of the equation.

I've found that toxins actually trump good nutrition in many cases. It doesn't matter how many excellent nutrients you eat if your body is filled with toxins that are blocking the nutrient receptors. I really don't believe in genetics anymore. I do believe in malnutrition passed down from mother to child, common environmental factors that entire families are exposed to, and the sad truth that a baby will detox his mother in utero keeping the toxins for himself.

When I began eating traditional foods (along with HVCLO and BO) I saw pretty quick improvement in my skin and vision. I saw no other improvements until I began pulling mercury out of my cells. Once I was at that stage for a couple months I began to see physical issues I had for 20 years begin to fade. I was fairly toxic, probably more than the average bear.

Some people are fortunate to be able to eat nutrient dense foods and have things start to heal without much further effort. There are others of us who have some benefit from these foods, but have to also focus on other areas to find healing. Each of us have a different path. It's not all in the food these days.
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#10 of 13 Old 05-29-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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Nope. none in my 9yo and 5yo. Only one in me, and it remineralized for 6 years until I was pregnant with #1.

My mother and grandmother also had perfect or near-perfect teeth. All my mom's brothers have nearly cavity-free teeth too, and my cousins have beautiful teeth. That's not to say that gum disease has not been a concern, but grandma and her mom both died with all their own teeth and very few fillings (if any).

All nice wide palates, no overcrowding, no overbite/underbite, no need for braces either. And that's all on a health-conscious but fairly standard diet. Grandma's foremothers had been off the farm since the turn of the century, so no farm-fresh produce, but grandma and grandpa were early to the awareness that sugary, processed foods weren't the basis of a diet.

Grandma, mom, and I all were born and raised in some of the most industrially polluted places in the country. Mom's dad was a public health official and early vaccine proponent, so Mom and her brothers and me and all my cousins got every vaccine available, and I do vaccinate my kids.

I personally think that diet can probably make genetically bad teeth worse or better, but the inherent state of teeth to be decay-ridden or not is genetic.

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#11 of 13 Old 05-29-2009, 02:12 AM
 
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I agree that it's probably a combination of genetics and diet, but I think diet can help. I have 3 kids and 1 with enamel issues (he's also the youngest, so I also think maternal health stores have something to do with it as well), and now a few cavities. We have a good diet, but I have been lax with soaking our grains, and for whatever reason I don't think ds's teeth can deal with a less than paleo diet.

I don't think it's too soon to start brushing and getting them into that habit. I think even if you have a great diet and great genetics it's just general maintenance to keep an eye on their teeth. Brushing gets you access twice a day---really otherwise I don't look at my kids teeth to notice them--except for the front ones.
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#12 of 13 Old 05-29-2009, 08:29 AM
 
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ah, just to answer your original question -- i do think it's a great idea to start brushing twice a day. i'm a huge huge fan of xylitol, which you can get in spry infant gel (the spiffies tooth wipes are a waste of time).

xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that the decay-causing bacteria can't feed on.

even if you're eating a totally perfect diet, it's still a good idea to get food particles off the teeth and not to let them sit there, especially in combination with breastmilk at night. and the sooner you get in the habit of brushing, the easier it will be. plus you'll be more conscious and aware of any problems that do develop.

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#13 of 13 Old 05-29-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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It depends quite a bit on how your parents and grandparents ate tool. So, your good diet now isn't just for you but for generations still to come.
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